WCBA History

warren county courthouse

The Court House, Belvidere, New Jersey Circa 1900

The Warren County Bar Association was incorporated as a nonprofit corporation in 1934. The incorporators were Charles B. Brady, Esq. of Phillipsburg, Egbert Rosecrans, Esq. of Blairstown, John H Pursel, Esq. of Phillipsburg, Harry Runyon, Esq. of Belvidere, and Sylvester C. Smith Jr. of Phillipsburg. Messrs. Brady, Rosecrans and Smith were named as the initial trustees.

The original certificate of incorporation in article second stated “Th e purposes for which this corporation is formed are the promotion of social intercourse and good fellowship amongst its members, the discussion of legal questions of general practical importance, the investigation of complaints affecting the professional conduct of lawyers practicing in Warren County, and the taking of such action in relation thereto as shall seem just and expedient, and in general, the advancement of the honor, welfare, efficiency and enjoyment of the members of the bar.

The location of the original principal office of the Corporation was at 100 S. Main St. in Phillipsburg where the registered agent was John H Pursel, Esq., the father of the recently retired Superior Court Judge.

The acknowledgment of the signers was taken by Clark C Bowers Esq. of Washington, Master in Chancery of New Jersey.

The certificate was filed in the office of the Warren County Clerk on January 11, 1934 in Book 6 of Corporations, page 354. It was also filed in the office of the Secretary of State of New Jersey on January 15, 1934

The first president of the Warren County Bar Association was Clarence Walters, Esq. of Phillipsburg. A list of the presidents who followed is posted here.

One of the incorporators, Sylvester C Smith Jr., went on to become the president of the New Jersey State Bar Association in 1940 – 1941 and president of the American Bar Association in 1962 – 1963. One other attorney from Warren County has served as president of the New Jersey State Bar Association: Joel A. Kobert of Hackettstown in 1992 – 1993.